The French Open, also known as Roland Garros of by the official French title “Les internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland Garros” is a yearly tennis tournament that is held in May/June each year. The name comes from the Stade Roland Garros (English: Roland Garros Stadium), which was named after a French pilot. The tournament is one of the four Major Grand Slam tournaments, which means that it is one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world. It is the only major championship to be held on clay courts and is one of the most physically demanding tournaments. Let’s find out who won the first French Open.
Who won the first French Open?
In 1891 a new tennis tournament called Championnat de France (English: French Championships) was created. It was only open to members of French tennis clubs (and remained this way until 1925), but it is considered to be the first French Open. Ironically, the first tournament was won by a British tennis player known as H. Briggs (his first name remains unknown). He lived in Paris at the time and was only allowed to enter the tournament because he was a member of the Club Stade Français. He was the only international winner of the men’s tournament until 1933 when Australian Jack Crawford took home the prize.
The first women’s singles championship was held in 1897 and was won by Adine Masson. Amazingly, she was awarded the 1898 and 1899 championships because she was the only entrant in the tournament!
The first men’s doubles championship was held in 1925 and it was won by Jean Borotra and René Lacoste. They defeated Henri Cochet and Jacques Brugnon, who turned the table two years later and won the championship against the same pair. In 1929 the same pairs met in the final again and Borotra and Lacoste were champions again.
The first women’s doubles final was held in 1907. Adine Masson and Yvonne de Pfoeffel were the winners of the initial tournament.
Did you know?
Rafael Nadal holds the record for the most number of men’s singles French open titles with 8 wins in his career. Chris Evert holds the record for most women’s singles with 7 titles.